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what aspect of your treatment, if any single aspect, do you feel is the most important for you in your treatment? your meds/pdoc, tdoc, family/friends, lifestyle choices, or other? why? how do you feel others could benefit like you do from your choice (how could we benefit more from, say, our tdoc visits)?

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what aspect of your treatment, if any single aspect, do you feel is the most important for you in your treatment? your meds/pdoc, tdoc, family/friends, lifestyle choices, or other? why? how do you feel others could benefit like you do from your choice (how could we benefit more from, say, our tdoc visits)?

I'm not BP (am just hanging around here, I read all the boards, so I hope it's okay if I respond ;) ) but I really do at this point think that the meds are the most important part of my treatment right now. I've been very very lucky to have a wonderful family and a few pretty loyal friends, but there's only so much that they can do to make me 'cheer up'--at a certain point, all of the friends and caring parents in the world don't matter when you're so lost in your own mind that leaving life altogether seems like a viable option. When your brain reaches that point, it needs some help (at least mine did) from a physical standpoint--something up there was broken and it needed some duct tape *quick*.

For some of us (it happens a lot more with depression than bp) we can help even things out with meds and get back to 'normal' and that's where the tdoc and staying healthy and surrounding yourself with support is really really important--but a lot of us will always need that evening out and meds to keep things running smoothly. Anyway, there's my 2cents from the POV of someone who's 'just depressed' :) but this is a very interesting question and I'll be interested to see what others say.

meg

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Has to be meds, cause if I am cycling all over the place, like every 30 minutes, nothing else will matter. Its only when I can stabalize with the right meds that I can actually use therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.

If the brain ain't working right, nothing makes sense and I am wasting everyone's time and energy. You have to be stable--I used to describe taking AD's when they worked for me like coming up from being underwater. Depression was like everything in slow-mo like underwater, and then, boom--the meds kick in. I don't notice any huge change, its jus that I felt normal and able to breathe again.

china

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Meds.

I'd like to be able to say that of course both therapy and medication are important for me, or that of course both lifestyle and medication are important for me, or that all three are, but without medication the others are like trying to empty the sea with a teaspoon - exhausting, stressful, and insufficiently effective.

On meds, lifestyle changes are very important for me, particularly making sure I don't have blood sugar crashes.

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Good question Loon.

Didn't have to think long, with me it's lifestyle choices. For me lifestyle choices are vital.

(I'm not BP but the question can apply to any MI I guess, depression it is with me).

When things are going fine and reasonably stable in my life I can still get depressed but overall I feel better when my life is in control and I'm capable of doing some things that I enjoy. Any lifestyle changes that make ya feel good, ie work less if can afford it, take a break or holiday, eat properly, exercise, spend time with good friends and (good) family. Yea sometimes these things are too hard if you're ill / feeling crap.

When things in my life turn into a disaster area (which seems to happen a lot with me sometimes) then it doesn't take long for me to slide down down down FAST.

Certain things are a danger zone for me: boyfriend troubles, money worries, employment worries, family worries, housing worries.

Any of these can send me into panic and depression and sometimes if it gets real bad thinking " ;) " is the only solution.

So I make lifestyle choices to minimise these danger zones: don't enter a relationship with a guy or let myself get attached (yea you miss out on the chance of being loved but I'd rather not be ill), underspend as much as you can so that if you need money suddenly for whatever it is availabe. Find a job that won't drive you nuts ~ if you're in a job that makes you feel bad, change jobs. Change from fulltime to part time if you can afford it. You'll have more time to destress and do other things. Family worries not so much you can do about those other than try to help them when you can.

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Meds are a given. Like eating. I say a good therapist makes a huge difference. It's been years since I've had a good one and my track record since has sucked.

I think friends help, but they aren't crucial. I've been happy with no friends, just 2 jobs and full time school. (Manic much?)

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Therapy and social support.

Hands down.

Yes the meds help me to do both therapy and seeking out support from others, but without PEOPLE in my life, I am pretty sure chemicals can be damned.

Psychotherapy has allowed me to make long lasting healthy change in my life...and for me prozac never did that for me. If anything meds are like a band aid, a temporary solution for the symptoms and working through relational stuff with a therapist and with friends and family has been what has helped me the most. Yet I still have so much work left to do.

But that is just me.

OH and physical exercise is vital too. Working out the body always helps with my mind.

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first of all, it's the meds. which i will say is in conjuction with a good pdoc that will help you find the right ones.

then, the family/friends network.

job. must get by, but not be stressed.

lifestyle: exercise, eat healthy, yoga, meditation.

least important at the moment:

sex, boyfriend, 9-5 job. (although the boyfriend thing wouldn't be so bad)

have an intense day,

kathryn

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i just realized i never answered my own question! ha!

for me, it is the meds, hands down. i wouldn't be able to think clearly enough to benefit from the other things were it not for my meds. how could i really develop relationships with my tdoc and close loved ones, or take care of myself during an episode? meds keep me in the here and now so i can achieve better health.

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Without a doubt, it's meds. Without them I'd be slightly psychotic, out there doing stupid things or driving my car off a cliff. I'm not sure my cocktail is 100% perfect - but whose is? The worst thing I could EVER do would be to take myself off them.

My family and IRL friends just don't get it. Some of them try, and I appreciate that, but ultimately I can't rely on them for proper support.

Therapy has been useful for dealing with immediate crises, such as my never-ending divorce, but at the end of the day it has had no particular impact on my BP.

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Meds and my hubby and kids. I don't know how they can stand me sometimes, but they always give me the inspiration to go on. Hubby is so easy to talk to about anything, and my kids are perceptive and supportive. They may not understand, but they are there for me.

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It would definitely be the meds for me, too. My problems stem from a chemical imbalance and therefore the meds help to maintain stability. I saw the tdoc a while back, but he said that I should "get outta here and make room for people who really have problems." So it's the meds that help me the most. I wish I could say "family," but they're so distant and judgmental.

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The medication is definately the biggest help for me. I don't think I would be where I am today without it. It gets me to a point where I can do all of the other things. Where I can deal with therapy and diet and excercise and such. Otherwise I'm just all over the place.

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1) Family. Specifically, keeping them at least 300 miles away.

2) Meds (duh). I tried therapy by itself for several months and it went nowhere without meds to get me over the hump, so to speak.

3) Lifestyle: Friends and exercise.

4) Therapy. It's hard to get good, inexpensive therapy in the small city where I live, but I do with what I can get. I have to give some credit to my second tdoc (2003, Indiana), who helped me determine that much of my problem was biological and not due to my family.

5) "Physical" health: I'd feel a lot better psychologically if my extrapyramidal tract weren't going rotten at the moment. Especially since exercise (see #3) tends to provoke attacks of it.

1-5 are extremely important to me, and honestly there isn't much of a difference in ranking. E.g., meds and therapy are almost equal in my view, at least in my case.

What the hell, Andrew? So being bipolar isn't enough of a problem to need help with? What a bastard. I guess he doesn't understand mental illness--sometimes nothing is wrong with your life but you can still become batshit crazy.

I think it's more his tdoc and not him you should be so angry at. Just my 2mg of Lamictal, though. [EDIT: Looks more like the two of you, hollywood and Andrew, are in actually in agreeance with each other. Better re-read everything just in case. He seems to be citing both meds as well as environmental factors in his problems.]

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